While virtually all life is decimated by the ravage of Australian bushfires, the Banksia has adapted to thrive. Triggered by fire, the banksia releases its seeds, surviving often when the maternal plant is killed. This phenomenon is known as Serotiny, and rather mirrors a favourite quote of mine ~ ‘some women are lost in the fire, other women are built from it‘. Broadly, there is an opportunity for growth embedded in every circumstance, no matter how well disguised it seems. Magic like this is absolutely everywhere. All flowing, all connected.
Standing in the bush after a fire is like a private show with the black cockatoo orchestra. Flying high the black funnel ballet calls and sings excitedly as they feast on the gold of the newly released seeds. Everything is ordinary and extraordinary simultaneously. Ordinary, until transformed by the mind that sees its extraordinariness. We don’t need to go to the ends of the earth to discover such marvels, we just have to see what’s around us in a different way. Because in a world as beautiful as this, boredom is just plain laziness.
Delicate tendrils softly joining worlds, the senses are how our souls touch the earth and taste the tangible…
The thing I love most about the river, is that it’s so silently beautiful, our cluttered minds just can’t get a word in ~
True peace in the Clarence River Gorge at dawn, paddling with my friends from We Are Explorers, shot by Jake Anderson.
I started training karate when I was 3 years old and have trained in Japan and Oceania. I joined my first band age 8 and dedicated my teenage years to writing songs and playing gigs. I earned a recording contract at age 18. Once I secured that I mistakenly believed the hard part was done. I was wrong. I didn’t turn up with the same work ethic, drive and creativity that I used to secure the deal in the first place. I failed and it was heartbreaking and although I didn’t know it at the time, it was the greatest gift. I returned to high school to finish my education and begrudged working in the family shipbuilding, charters and repair business. What a fall from grace. While I was working in the business we were the defendants in a court case that went all the way to the High Court of Australia. We won. The law firm I had been working with encouraged me to pursue a career in Law. I moved to the city, joined their firm as a maritime and aviation paralegal and began my formal studies. I spent most of my 20s pursuing a Law career, which I grew to love, until I met my husband and had my first son age 26. I began freelance writing and returned to my love of the creative arts, finding myself in fashion as a ghost writer writing brand voices. This segued into marketing, culminating in my dream job as integrated marketing campaign manager for a leading fashion magazine writing campaigns for the biggest luxury fashion brands in the world. I was living my dream. Until my passion diverged again.
A 2014 trip to South Africa sent the compass needle spinning and I yearned to strip everything back and to return to basics. I became obsessed with the paradox of returning to the purity of existence before our social conditioning, and the becoming and designing of whoever and whatever we choose to be as our truest incarnation of self. I studied this in nature. I furthered it in pursuits of adventure. I discovered the place outside of our comfort zones where the wildflowers grow. I made that garden my home. It drives my decisions as a woman and mother.
I decided to be the first person to solo kayak the 400km Clarence River in northern NSW. I’d never kayaked before but I knew when the time came I would be the person I needed to be. I learned bush survival, celestial navigation, how to hunt and trap, how to forage, and medicinal uses of plants. I spent time in the bush honing my skills and I learnt and taught my sons as I went. I prepared for 2 years and this year in May 2017 it became my realised truth. I embarked on other solo adventures in the lead up and am a sponsored adventurer and ambassador, speaker and mentor, working with several global brands, publications and community groups. Is this finally my ‘thing’? Will Adventure eventually bore me? Will my passion diverge again? What is it about my personality that drives me to achieve a high level in one direction, and then to set my sail in another entirely? Am I alone?
I welcome you to these pages, where my goal is to delve into the secrets of passion and high performance, of perseverance and purpose, of parenting and identity, and philosophy and curiosity. Peppered with thoughts of my own and in-depth conservations and interviews with the most fascinating minds I can find, it is my hope that the distillations of these wisdoms will enable you to find and explore your “thing” too.
In a world that daily diffuses our concept of value and holds our focus hostage if we’re not vigilant, I’m passionate about the truth of the wild and the remedial effects it has on our souls and the respite it offers our overloaded minds. Surviving in nature cannot be faked. We cannot live off the identities we create for ourselves. We’re not at the top of any man-made, civilised food chain rolling around in a safety net of certainty and comfort. We’re part of an intricately designed eco-circle, an ancient land, holy waters, rich with power, history and culture, frontiers of potential and unknowns. I love that. We all ache for truth on some level, and many of us lose ourselves searching for it in the wrong places. It’s hard not to fall in love with our planet when we’re immersed in its splendours, and if we want it to last for generations, it’s going to take A LOT of love.
I want to pique the interest of my teenage friends, our precious youth, some of whom are doing it pretty tough, not so they look at me, but so they might pause their troubles and dream about their own “river”. I want to lead by example for my sons. I want to offer a perspective for women, particularly for mothers. Having children is challenging, but dreams don’t die when a mother is born, they’re only just beginning- because we understand having a reason to fight and no time to waste. One thing I firmly believe is that we can’t possibly teach if we stop learning. And one of my greatest teachers of all continues to be my Mother : Nature.
Once upon a time we believed the earth was flat. Now we believe it’s a pyramid. A pyramid with a select few at the top and the rest bottom dwelling, stressing and striving, climbing and competing. And it is prismatic for those that run the auto-programming we’re unrelentingly fed by the media. Every day we are fed the crime tabloids of terror and destruction and horror and hate, because the only beauty that sells wears a bikini and a blank stare.
But we are a globe in body and essence. A stunning sphere of possibility, not a pyramid of imprisoned dreams. A mirror ball of magic, that if we spent more time being reflective instead of being dazzled by our own reflections, would be collectively blinding in its beauty. A mosaic of meticulously arranged tiles, a square of space for every soul, round peg, triangle peg, hexagonal peg, whatever, to fit in and make a home of excellence. To occupy a space of extraordinary without being bullied into believing that space is wrong, deficient, invalid, unworthy. Its time we saw the globe. The mirror ball. The mosaic. The mural. The art in one another. Seize your space. Make it a masterpiece.